Decoding Wedding Season: Deciphering Invite Attire

Wedding season has officially started. Most of us are spending weekends celebrating love and enjoying all those people in your life that are taking the plunge and getting hitched. And any well dressed guy knows, a wedding is a perfect time to look effortlessly stylish in great clothes.

But have you ever received a wedding invite with a dress code called out and scratched you head thinking, "I am not quite sure what to wear?"......

......Trust us, you aren't the only one.

So the experts at Ticknors thought they would help a guy out by decoding wedding season by deciphering invite attire. What does it mean if the invite says formal attire? What can you wear if the invite states casual attire is OK?

Ticknors style guides are here to help guide you on what to wear when you can't quite decipher the invite attire.

Casual wedding attire

This is a bit more standard nowadays. Calling out casual attire can mean a few things. Perhaps the couple wants all guests to be comfortable as to ensure the guests enjoy themselves to the fullest. The couple may be having a relaxed affair, in a big warehouse space, backyard, or primarily outdoor venue and wants guests to dress appropriate for the weather so they don't want to put a formal requirement on your clothes. 

But casual attire does NOT mean it's OK to dress sloppy. Ticknors style experts advise avoiding jeans (this is a wedding after all) and t-shirts unless that t-shirt is layered under a sport coat. A wedding, no matter how casual, is not a place for your most casual looks. When in doubt, always err on the side of being a bit overdressed rather than underdressed.

So what should you wear? Ticknors style experts recommend a great pair of dress pants and a dress shirt or a knit shirt and sport coat at a minimum.

If you know the couple and think you can wear dress pants with a t-shirt and sport coat you can certainly don that look for this type of wedding.

Accessorize by adding some bracelets, a timepiece, and some great shoes. If it's an evening wedding, don't be afraid to also add a sport coat to your look. 

Cocktail wedding attire

Cocktail wedding attire is fun because you have a little bit of leeway with what you can wear. This attire means some sort of coat is required.

While this attire isn't quite at the formal attire level, you'll want (and feel most comfortable) when you don a coat. Dress pants, a dress shirt, and a sport coat will work best in this situation. 

Adding a tie and cufflinks is a great way to round out this look. With cocktail wedding attire, you don't need to pull out your a suit unless you want to. 

You could wear a suit to a wedding that calls out cocktail attire and fit right in with the other guests (without feeling overdressed) but that is up to you. Again, dress pants, a dress shirt and a sport coat will work just fine here. 

Consider time of year and time of day when choosing your cocktail wedding attire. If this is a spring or summer wedding in the afternoon, you can mix in seersucker, linen and lighter fabrics and lighter colors too. 

Formal wedding attire

This means a suit is required at a minimum. You can even wear a tuxedo to a wedding like this. While you may find you have a bit of flexibility, always wear a suit to a wedding where the invite says formal attire. 

In this case, try and pick out a more neutral color suit and make sure it's a well-fit and tailored suit. If you've got a snazzy three piece suit, a wedding like this is the perfect place to wear it.

If you are opting for a tuxedo, make sure the tuxedo fits well and your tie is crisp and tied well. 

Formal wedding attire is reserved mainly for weddings that will be an event in and of themselves. A lot of times this is dictated by the couple and the venue or location.

Formal wedding attire is requested for elegant restaurants, grand ballrooms, museums, and swanky event spaces. 

If you want a teeny bit of play with your look, consider the season in which the wedding will take place. In the winter you can mix up your tuxedo for a great navy tuxedo with a crisp black lapel.

If you are sporting a suit, you can mix up your look by choosing a suit with a tweed fabric or heavier texture to add somer personality. In the spring and summer your look can incorporate lighter grey colors (like a nice grey three piece suit or a grey tuxedo). 

But don't forget, a suit is the minimum requirement in this situation.

Black tire wedding attire

This type of wedding attire means tuxedo only. Anything less and you'll feel out of place. Generally speaking, if you wear a standard tuxedo with a crisp white shirt and a dark bowtie you'll be perfectly dressed.

It is important to note that you want to make sure your tuxedo fits you perfectly. Consider purchasing your tuxedo so you can get it tailored to fit your body shape. If you purchase your tuxedo you will always be ready for every single occasion a man could ever be invited too in his life. 

If you want to mix up your look and add some personality, consider a bow tie that has a tonal pattern or even a bowtie with some texture.

If you are attending a winter black tie gala wedding, you may even be able to mix up your tuxedo coat with one that is a rich velour. You can add interest with great cufflinks, interesting rings, and other great accessories.

Don't stray too far and add too much color to this wedding style but do take any opportunity to add a bit of flair and personality with simple swaps like the ones we mentioned. 

Keep in mind what season you will attend this wedding in as well as what time of the day the wedding takes place. Warm weather afternoons weddings are different than fall weather evening events.

However, if you stick within our suggestions above you'll create a look that is suave and stylish. 

If you need more help, stop in to our stores and chat with our associates. We are here and ready to answer your questions to find the best look for your event.